Did you know that pets can significantly reduce your home’s value?  Homebuyers are hesitant to buy a home with pets because they are weary of odors and damage. If you are a pet owner here are some tips to ensure you get the highest final sale price for your home:

1. Start outside. The outside of your home is the first impression, it is the first thing a potential buyer sees. Fill and holes in the yard that have been dug by pets. Make sure to walk the yard and pick up any pet waste.

2. Check the woodwork. Pets have a habit of chewing. Go through your home and look for any damage. Check the floor trim, the threshold of your doors, and the corners of doors and cabinets. Also don’t forget to check carpet, window ledges and screens, especially if you have cats. Hardwood floors can also get scratched by pets too. You may need refinish your floors if they have pet scratches.

3. Check the carpet. Carpets are usually best replaced rather than repaired. It is almost impossible to remove pet odor from carpet. If the carpet has been chewed or frayed from scratching it can likely be stretched and re-tacked by a professional.

4. Look for stains. There can be stains on carpet, flooring, drywall, and trim. Make sure to repair or replace any items that are stained before a buyer sees them.

5. Address odors. You may not even notice pet odors in your home but they will be very obvious to buyers. Ask someone else to give you an honest opinion of pet odors in your home.  Make sure to vacuum daily and open windows if you can. It’s not just accidents that cause bad odors. Your pet’s hair, dander and sweat also create odors.

6. Clean your furniture. Even though the buyer is looking at the house, if your furniture is stained or ruined buyers will still devalue your home.

7. Keep the pets away. If possible remove pets from your home when showing it. You could board them, or have a friend keep your pets while you’re showing your home. If that is not possible make sure to buy pet crates to keep them locked up and out of the way.

If foreclosure is looming you may feel helpless. It is possible to still sell your home and avoid foreclosure. You must sell it quickly and that is not always easy. Here are some tips to get aggressive, and get your home sold fast.

Price it right! Don’t try to squeak out the extra dollar price the home aggressively among the competition. This often means pricing the house low. You are trying to sell the home as fast as possible so every last dollar isn’t worth it at this point.

Make sure to get real about what your home is worth. A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) will outline properties similar to yours that have that recently sold, are pending and are currently on the market. Some experts suggest going 10% below that last sold price in your neighborhood.

Communicate with your lender. You will need to get the go ahead from your lender on how low you can go. If you owe more than your home is worth complete a short sale application with your lender. Ask your lender to give you some indication of how low a sale price they will accept.

Selling your home quickly and avoiding the black mark of foreclosure on your credit report is the goal. It may be hard to accept thousands less than what you paid for your home but you will be better off in the long run.

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